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10 Entrepreneurial Lessons from Richard Branson’s Autobiography, Losing My Virginity

10 things I learned about entrepreneurship from Sir Richard Branson: The world-famous entrepreneur shares his wisdom on what it takes to be successful in business.

In his autobiography, Richard Branson details how he overcame a number of challenges in his early life to become the successful entrepreneur he is today.

    1. Failure is not fatal.

    Richard Branson persevered through difficult times to achieve success - Branson's story is an inspirational tale of never giving up, even when the odds are against you.

    The first project he gave his heart to "Student" at 16 right from high school died a quiet death with no one to purchase it but yet that didn't stop him.

    His other business failures include Virgin Cola, Virgin Cosmetics, and Virgin Brides, in addition to having to sell Virgin Records.

    At a point he noted in the book - "Every successful businessman has failed at some ventures, and most entrepreneurs who run their own companies have been declared bankrupt at least once."

    One of the biggest lessons Branson learned is that failure is inevitable, but it's what you do after a setback that really matters.

    You can always find a way to succeed no matter how many times you fail.

    2. Success can take off without warning

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success. It's possible that what works for you won't work for someone else.

    The same way failure can teach you lessons; if you hang around and keep making progress - success can take you off by surprise.

    The record industry which he switched to later on the business started making hits with artists like Mike Oldfield with the album "Tubular bells."

    He saw big time success he couldn't have predicted. Other factors contributed to this success - like the technology of Compact disc and Virgin becoming an undisputed record label in the music industry.

    3. Follow your guts and instincts

    Richard is known for following his guts in making business decisions.

    He let Simon make key decisions according to his taste in the choice of their products and signing people on the record which led Virgin Music dominating the top-ten singles and albums charts.

    The same Simon said he'll go ahead with the plan "over his dead body" when he wanted to go into Airways.

    Guess what? It affected the business relationship but Richard still followed his heart and this also resulted to success.

    4. Take Risks

    The Importance of Being Bold: Throughout the book, Branson shares stories of how he took risks and didn't let fear hold him back, which led to some of his biggest successes.

    ‘Nothing ventured; nothing gained’.

    Branson was not afraid to take risks. He believed that if you don't take risks, you will never achieve anything great. This mindset led him to accomplish some amazing things."

    The most interesting question he asked himself when going into Airline was "what's the biggest risk?"

    The most Virgin would lose would be £2 million.

    It was a risk Virgin could afford and to their surprise was not a regret.

    5. Focus on what gives you internal joy

    Branson filled his life with things he was passionate about, whether it was music, business, or philanthropy. This led to him being incredibly successful in all areas of his life.

    All the baloon travels. His business choices in terms of partners and risk taking. Was all based on what give him the most joy.

    "My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them.

    But another part of me is driven to try new adventures, and I still find that I want to push myself to my limits."

    You must be passionate about your work in order to be successful.

    6. Be unique and Never lose sight

    Branson always tried to do things differently from everyone else. He didn't want to be like other businesses; he wanted to be unique. This helped him stand out and become one of the most successful entrepreneurs.

    However tight things are, you still need to have the big picture at the forefront of your mind.

    Think of all the confrontation and evil plots from British airways, the challenges of the business - one of the lessons is never lose focus especially on the trivial.

    Believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities.

    7. Blow away your competition:

    This was the principle of going after Bristish Airways and and finally signing big artist like Janet Jackson and Rolling stones.

    When it was done he acknowledged in the book regarding Janet Jackson "she could not be missed" based on what it meant to Virgin over other records.

    Today they've worked with big artist like Taylor Swift, James Bay, Bastille, Chvrches, Niall Horan, Shawn Mendes and Florence + The Machine amongst many others and celebrating 45years +.

    8. In the scariest moment. Trust God

    Entrepreneurs are known to be proactive and always making key decisions as regards to their destiny.

    But at a point during the baloon travels, Richard experienced several moments he could only attribute to a higher power taking control.

    "I resigned myself to fate, and forced myself to make the best of it."

    9. Always think of how to reinvest your money

    When Virgin records become a success and was finally sold - Richard could have retired and go live in a yatch.

    But he chose to Reinvest the money.

    Today Richard Branson according to Virgin is Founder of the Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most irresistible brands and has expanded into many diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure." -

    10. Get Feedback and be open to learning

    Richard Branson thought of a way to get feedback from customers and improve his company. He resorted to listening to them casually, writing observations and implementing:

    "I don’t mind where the ideas come from as long as they make a difference."

    One of the keys to Branson's success has been his ability to always stay learning and open to new ideas.

    11. Bonus point: People first - Focus on the customer

    Branson talks about how his businesses have always been about people first and how treating employees well is essential for any company's success.

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